The creature before him seemed to twitch in response. It shook its head softly for a minute as if in shock or annoyance at the sound.
Alex paid no mind.
Instead, forgetting himself, he scampered backwards. Anything to just get away from the monstrous creature in front of him. That huge hooked beak. That mottled green screen. The...
He fell backwards through the opening to his attic. His hands grasped at open air as he tumbled and he tried to catch himself on the lips of the edges, but it was too late.
At the same time, the creature began to lunge forward. Its eyes were hungry, its claws were sharp.
Absently, Alex wondered if he would fall before the monster got him.
He was halfway through the opening when he got the answer.
With inhuman speed, the creature was on him. Even as tumbled back through the opening, it crossed the attic with inhuman speed. Its large webbed claws wide open and closings around both extended arms.
The thought was instant and twisted his guts into knots. It was so sudden and so alien it washed away all others. It was only forced away by the feeling of his arms being nearly dislocated as the creature pulled him back up into the darkness of the attic.
Drawn back up to the waiting monster's beak.
Alex screamed again and closed his eyes.
Alex stopped screaming in a gasp of shock. A moment later, he felt himself sat down on the lip of the attic.
The creature's claws were vicious and an odd mix of slimy and sticky; kind of like a frog's skin. They let go of Alex's arms a moment later.
"That's better." the creature said again with another shake of his head. "So loud."
Alex couldn't do anything but squeak in response. His heart was pounding so hard it felt like it would tear through his ribs. His face was flushed, his eyes were welled with tears, and his thoughts were a muddled mess of emotion and panic.
Yet he was alive.
The monster settled down across the way from him and shook his head again; giving each ear a soft smack like a swimmer trying to extricate a bit of water. He paid Alex little mind for a moment while Alex, on the other hand, stared in amazement.
After a minute of endless staring, the creature offered him a kind of odd smile.
It reminded Alex of the time he'd given a turtle a strawberry.
"Are you okay?" it asked tentatively.
The creature's voice had an odd pitch that he didn't notice the first time. It sounded like one of those funny voices a clown might do. Really nasally and-
"Kid? You okay?"
"Uh. Yea." Alex said with a little nod.
Was he dead? Did the monster already eat him? Why would he-
"Good. I was worried for a second. Didn't want you to crack your head open on the dresser. That was a nasty fall you could have taken."
Alex couldn't respond. He just stared.
The creature was actually smaller than he originally thought. It seemed like he would only be a bit taller than himself. The real girth came from a massive turtle shell on his back. His skin was mottled and scaly like a reptile's. Except...
"What's wrong with your hands?" Alex asked absentmindedly.
The monster held up his claws to inspect them. The flesh was quickly drying into a cracked, gray-brown. Moving from the finger tips down towards his hands.
The creature reached up and tapped the top of his head. For the first time, Alex noticed that it was concave; like a bowl. Set amidst a bowl cut of gray hair, it resembled a weird soup dish more than the top of someone's head.
"Oh damn oh damn!" he repeated again, turning from Alex and running towards the pool.
Alex couldn't help but watch. His shock turning to mild confusion and curiosity.
As he watched, the creature dipped his head directly into the kiddie pool; splashing water everywhere. He stayed that way for a few seconds before coming back up. He repeated this a few times more before Alex realized the thing was making a strange effort to keep his head steady and upright each time he did.
Finally, on the fifth try, the creature resurfaced and seemed satisfied.
He walked back to Alex and plopped back down again. This time, the bowl on top of the thing's head appeared to be full of water.
"What are you?" Alex demanded indignantly; more confused than scared now.
"Me? I'm a Kappa!" it responded in that odd voice.